Association between urinary incontinence in elderly patients and caregiver burden in the city of Sao Paulo/Brazil: Health, Wellbeing, and Ageing Study

Neurourol Urodyn. 2011 Sep;30(7):1281-5. doi: 10.1002/nau.21040. Epub 2011 May 10.


Aim: Some elderly patients with incontinence require the care of third parties, known as caregivers. Such care can occur on a daily basis leaving little opportunity for the caregiver to take care of himself/herself. The aims are to assess the association between urinary incontinence in elderly patients and caregiver burden and identify independent factors for caregiver's burden in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Methods: The Pan-American Health Organization and World Health Organization coordinated a multicenter study named Health, Wellbeing and Aging (SABE Study) in elderly people living in seven countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. In Brazil, the study population carried out in São Paulo in the year 2000 and reassessed in 2006 (COHORT A). Urinary incontinence was assessed by ICIQ-SF and caregiver burden by means of Zarit Burden Scale.

Results: A total of 327 patients with caregivers were included in the study. The general prevalence of urinary incontinence was 25.8%, higher among the women. There was a significant positive association between caregiver burden and incontinent patients, demonstrating that urinary incontinence in elderly patients produced greater caregiver burden. In the present study, the variables with significant correlations were assessed using the multivariate logistic regression model. Category 2 of the ICIQ-SF (incontinent patients) increased the chances of caregiver burden 1.96-fold in comparison to Category 1 (continent patients). Likewise, the category of impaired cognition increased the chances of caregiver burden 2.34-fold.

Conclusions: Urinary incontinence and cognitive impairment in elderly patients were associated to an increase in caregiver burden.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Caregivers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cost of Illness
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Urinary Incontinence / diagnosis
  • Urinary Incontinence / epidemiology*
  • Workload / statistics & numerical data*